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21 February 2018
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Merging infant & junior schools: council consults PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 February 2013 10:45

bitterne park junior school stylisedAs previously reported, the education authority is considering an ‘all-through primary school’ for Bitterne Park, rather than the current arrangement of separate infant and junior schools – and is now consulting over the issue. If the idea goes ahead Bitterne Park’s primary school could open as soon as September.


The education authority says the proposal “is being put forward because the infant school does not have a permanent head teacher and the junior school has an Interim Executive Board instead of a governing body”.

Under the plans the infant school would close and the age range served by the junior school would be expanded, but the consultation document (PDF) stresses that: “While the term discontinue is used, this proposal is focused on merging and bringing together two schools.”

bitterne park infant school sign stylised“The primary school would continue to operate on the same site and in the same buildings as the existing infant and junior schools,” says the document.

What are the benefits?

The authority says some advantages of an all-through primary include:

  • Coherence of curriculum from the early years foundation stage through to the end of key stage 2;
  • Commonality of school policies;
  • Sharing of resources; and
  • Parents would no longer need to apply for a year three place at the junior school; they would simply progress from year two to year three at the beginning of the academic year.

One criticism of all-through primaries is that they can become larger, less personal environments for children – particularly when they start their schooling.

'Case not necessarily cut and dried'

Bitterne Park ward councillor and former cabinet member for children’s services Peter Baillie previously told that the case is not necessarily cut and dried:

“While there’s a very persuasive case for it, equally you can make a case for keeping the places separate, so there does need to be a decent discussion,” he said in December.

How to find out more and have a say

  • Comments can be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or posted, using the form on the consultation document.
  • A consultation drop-in session will be held at Bitterne Park Infant School on Monday March 18 from 2.30-3.30pm. Parents of pupils from both schools are welcome. Representatives from the local authority will be on hand to answer questions.


0 #1 Editor 2013-03-20 03:11
This comment was received by Ann MacGillivray, who had troubles logging in to post:

I remember how scared I was when I first went to School. It was such a big place and the teachers did not know of my usual environment, I had to be the way they wanted regardless of what I already knew!
It got worse when I attended the big school I was lost and had to fit into the ways of the "New" education system. If you did not fit in you were lost as the teachers had to comply with what the government of that day had planned for you.
Why does the education system not listen or observe the needs of the children that they are educating for tomorrow.
It seems to me that the people who have a financial interest in the construction of the schools rather than investment into the those they educate for the future of our world control things.
I believe that large schools intimidate and control rather than support the ideals of their pupils.
I say invest in a lower teacher pupil ratio instead of constructing the fabrication. Or is that investment too long term?
Thanks for the comment. What do others think about creating larger schools?
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